Student Film Coverage

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Equipment Coverage for Northwestern-Owned Property

Northwestern owned property checked out to students for use in academic or extra-curricular film activities is covered under Northwestern's current property insurance policy. The coverage is on the replacement value of the covered property for all covered losses, excluding mysterious disappearance (any unexplained loss of property). In the event of a mysterious disappearance the student or students are responsible for the full value of the missing property. For a detailed list of what is not covered see the attached Property Coverage Exclusion list for the policy enforce. Students are responsible for the full value of property when coverage is excluded for any reason by the current property policy. All covered claims are subject to a $750 or 15% (whichever is greater) up to $5,000 deductible. Students are responsible for the first $750 or 15% (whichever is greater) up to $1,000. RTVF is responsible for the remainder of the deductible for covered losses. Students that have formed limited partnerships or that incorporate their film shooting activities are covered under Northwestern's property insurance with Northwestern's property. Payment or a payment schedule for losses must be arranged with the Equipment Manager of the Cage or the Director of the Media Services group before any further equipment privileges are restored to the liable student(s). The RTVF has the option to hold student grades/graduation records for unpaid equipment losses.

Equipment Coverage for Non-Northwestern-Owned Property

Rented, leased, loaned or borrowed equipment, not owned by Northwestern is covered under Northwestern's property insurance coverage on an actual cash value of the property for all covered losses, excluding mysterious disappearance. Coverage excludes theft of equipment unless there are visible signs of a forced entry. When theft is the cause of the loss, the students must report the loss to the police immediately in the jurisdiction where the theft occurred. All claims are subject to a $750 or 15% (whichever is greater) up to $2,500 deductible. Coverage is available to the student at a rate of $3.00 per $1,000 of coverage requested, rounding up to the next dollar amount for everything in between. Coverage period for rental equipment covers a maximum of 14 consecutive calendar days or any two-weekend rentals. Additional coverage must be purchased for each additional period. Coverage is terminated after any loss and must be re-purchased again after any loss. Students must exercise caution and inspect equipment prior to leaving the rental establishment. Students must document any abnormalities or damage to the equipment before taking possession and leaving the rental establishment. There is no coverage for normal wear and tear (fuses, light bulbs, etc.). Payment or a payment schedule for losses must be arranged with Risk Management before any further equipment rental privileges are approved for the liable student(s). The student(s) listed on the RMP are responsible for the entire deductible; RTVF has no responsibility for the deductible.

Off-Campus Film Projects

This type of project normally will require insurance from the Office of Risk Management. When a project requires insurance, Northwestern requires an approved written Risk Management Plan (RMP) to obtain insurance coverage. Attached to this policy is a blank RMP Form for the students to use and an explanation of the RMP Form. Electronic copies of RMP and this policy are available on the Risk Management Website. The purpose of the RMP Form is to help the students think through safety, liability and property exposures and controls for using private and/or public premises and rented or loaned equipment. The RMP requires the students to outline the controls that they will use to minimize any risks present to the students, public, equipment, and property. The students need to use the completed RMP as a checklist to identify all the known potential risks students may encounter on the film project.

The approval process will use E-mail to streamline handling student requests. Students must submit the RMP to their Advisor/Instructor via E-mail for approval. Should the Advisor/Instructor not approve the RMP, they will send the RMP back to the student with their comments for correction. Once the Advisor/Instructor approves the RMP, Advisor/Instructor will E-mail it to Risk Management for approval. When Risk Management approves the RMP, Risk Management will issue certificates of insurance for the project as the students identify their need in the RMP. Should a student request coverage for just an individual location or equipment vendor, the student will need to fill out an RMP for just that location or vendor. The requesting student must then submit this location/vendor RMP for approval through their Advisor/Instructor as previously stated.

Certificates of insurance requests need to be made through the Advisor/Instructor by listing them in the RMP. Only insurance requests made through the Advisor/Instructor will be processed. Risk Management will not automatically issue certificates of insurance upon a description of activities and equipment. Students need to develop plans and controls for exposures and explain the plans and controls in the RMP before Risk Management will approve and issue certificates of insurance. Students shall only request certificates when specifically asked for by equipment vendors or location owners. Certificates shall not be volunteered; students shall follow a policy of: if they don't ask for it, we don't offer it. Northwestern will not assume responsibility for the intentional, wrongful acts of students, actors, agents, contractors, sub-contractors, volunteers, or others either directly or indirectly involved in student film projects. All tickets, citations, fines, etc. are the responsibility of the student or student group responsible for the cited actions.

General Liability Coverage

Northwestern provides general liability coverage certificates for film project locations. A deductible of $750.00 or 15% (whichever is greater) up to $2,500, applies to each loss. The student(s) listed on the RMP are responsible for the entire deductible; RTVF has no responsibility for the deductible.

Property Coverage

The insurance for Northwestern does not allow or cover students who sign property leases for film productions. Should a student require property coverage the lease must be approved by the Office of General Counsel and signed by an officer of the University.

Automobile Liability Coverage

Northwestern will not provide primary auto insurance coverage to students utilizing their own vehicles for Northwestern film projects. The student's personal auto insurance coverage is primary. Northwestern auto liability coverage will be considered supplemental to that of the student's. Northwestern's coverage, if applicable, will not provide physical damage coverage for damage sustained to the student's or other private vehicles used in the project. Northwestern will cover vehicles available to Northwestern approved student drivers through the University Motor Pool or outside vendor. There is no coverage available for full size van, truck, or trailer rentals. Automobile liability coverage has a $1,000.00 deductible. Northwestern does not cover luxury, antique, or sport cars, motorcycles or recreational vehicles of any kind. Student coverage for vehicles is subject to the rules and guidelines of Northwestern's Vehicle Policy. The student(s) listed on the RMP are responsible for the entire deductible; RTVF has no responsibility for the deductible.

Workers' Compensation coverage is not available. Projects requiring Workers' Compensation coverage require outside insurance. Risk Management can refer students to alternative insurance sources the student can purchase if needed.

Rush requests for insurance coverage are discouraged. Students who need a certificate with less than 24-hour notice; will pay a $15.00 service fee per certificate request.

Items Not Approved for Student Film Shoots

Northwestern does not provide insurance coverage to students doing the following activities. Either the student(s) must obtain their own insurance for these activities or get insurance coverage from the owner or contractor hired. Insurance coverage from the owner or contractor hired must include Northwestern University as an additional insured and be for at least $3 million per occurrence coverage. Even with outside insurance Northwestern may still not approve the activity. Students that violate this policy will no longer get insurance from Northwestern.

  • No open fires, fire works, smoking, or pyrotechnics.
  • No farm or construction machinery, watercraft, snowmobiles, aircraft, etc.
  • No activity with motorized two-wheeled, three-wheeled or off-road vehicles.
  • No activity shall involve real firearms (modified or not), alcohol or illegal substances.
  • No activity shall consist of throwing or dropping anything from an aircraft or vehicle.
  • No bungee jumping, skydiving, or rock climbing.
  • No live animals.
  • No activities on water or in the air.
  • No activity on scenes open to the public.
  • No films requiring Workers' Compensation coverage.
  • No students who incorporate or form limited partnerships.